Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Why couldn't Moghedien escape the leash with the True Power?
I'm just going to quote the whole response to this:
1. What do Rand's wards on Callandor ward against exactly?
2. Are the black cords on male Forsaken the means to access to the True Power?
3. If so, why don't the female Forsaken have them?
"Read and find out" on all three counts.
Damn. I still don't think the cords have anything to do with True Power usage though.
Brandon explained that the True Power can only be used by someone that the Dark One has allowed to use it. The True Power is perhaps more powerful than the One Power in the way a drugged up person is more powerful than someone not drugged up. In the moment the drugged up person may be, but in the long run maybe not.
Further explaining the True Power, he said the Guardian in Far Madding cannot stop it.
From Knife of Dreams Chapter 21, "Within the Stone":
The face of the man from Shadar Logoth floated in his head for a moment. He looked furious. And near to sicking up.
Ok, so, what is then the nature of the Dark One’s relationship with the True Power? In other words, is the Power...is he the Power or it is separate like the One Power?
When people bored into his prison they were searching for a new source of power, they found him. Alright? Now, that leaves a strong implication that the True Power is the essence of the Dark One. The True Power when it is used rips apart the Pattern to rebuild it as it desires. The True Power is very destructive to the Pattern. It leaves scars on the Pattern. Robert Jordan said in an interview or maybe it was actually in the books, when you make a gateway with the True Power you are actually ripping a whole in the Pattern and going somewhere else. When you are using the True Power that is what you are doing, it is contrary to the Pattern. That is not a direct answer to your question but I think there are enough implications in there that certain things can be discussed.
[I realize now, after listening to Brandon’s answer that I was making an assumption about the One Power too, that it is separate from the Creator because of what we have been given in the books and the BWB, but I should have asked if instead the One Power is the essence of the Creator...]
Ok. So, obviously a channeler uses the True Power. We’ve discussed this before they weave the True Power just as they weave the One Power...
...they do and you don’t have to learn, and so that should tell you that the weaves are similar if not identical to the One Power. There are certain things the True Power can do that are different and it goes about things in different ways, but you don’t have to relearn everything.
Is the True Power used by any other creatures or beings within Parallel or Perpendicular worlds or other dimensions?
Ok, see answering that actually gets us begging the question because let’s step back, the question that people should be asking is does the Dark One exist in all of these Parallels...
...ok, so yeah this is the question I’ll ask, you make a good point. Are there worlds and dimensions that exist outside of the Pattern?
Ok, see that’s the question you should be asking. I mean, you should be asking it, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to answer it. [laughter] But that’s at the core of the question. I’m going to discuss it without giving you the answer. I like to do this because I think it frames the question without giving you too much information that I have that I don’t think is appropriate to share right now. Extrapolations of this question get us to: is there one Dragon for all different Parallels or are they all different Dragons? Traveling through the Portal Stone seems to indicate that there are many different lives Rand could have led. The same thing happens with several of the ter’angreal that people go through. The question then is, are those all separate Universes? Do we have a multi-verse sort of concept? Or are they possibilities and do these worlds all exist or could exist, what is the difference. In some of those Rand failed. So, is Rand the Dragon in all of them or is Rand not the Dragon in some of them? What happens in the ones where Rand failed? Are they real worlds? Are those different worlds where there is a different Dark One who then takes over and destroys that world or maybe not, maybe he makes it has he wishes. Or are those just possibilities, reflections of this world that don’t really exist except when we touch them? Those are all very good questions. Robert Jordan said that Tel'aran'rhiod is a reflection of all different worlds, which implies other worlds continue to exist. The World of the Finns is something different...
...he called it a Parallel World...
Yes, the Parallel World, that one and also the one Rand and Lanfear visited are persistent regardless of someone from this world visiting. Yet, many of those seem almost shadowy and reflections of the real world, some of them seem as real just strange when visiting them. What happens in these different world, that sort of thing, those were never questions that Robert Jordan answered...
...the answers exist?
The answers exist, but are there many parallel Patterns or is there one Pattern?
Yeah, that’s...are there many Wheels or just one Wheel?
That’s not a question, I’m afraid, that I can answer because I don’t think it’s within the scope of the books and I don’t think that the characters...that there are people that could know. You will find Browns arguing all of these different things among themselves, and it’s not my place to step in and end the discussion.
Are there any other sources of Powers either within the Pattern or outside of the Wheel? Are there any sources like…
...sources much like the One Power and True Power?
I will have to RAFO that.
There was some confusion about Rand and the Dark One’s permission, so for clarification’s sake, did Rand have the Dark One’s permission to use the True Power?
I have not answered that. If anyone says that I have, I have not. What I have said specifically is, this is recording: generally one must have the Dark One’s permission to use the True Power. Semirhage believed that the Dark One had betrayed her by letting Rand use it. [...] It is good that you have asked this so I can make sure on the record that is the answer I have given.
Lastly I want to mention that in general conversation at the end, Brandon was very careful to state that we cannot assume that Rand drew the True Power through the link with Moridin; nor may we assume the opposite. (In other words, we're not supposed to have enough evidence yet to draw a conclusion.)
Furthermore, it seemed that he wanted to make it clear that we cannot discount the idea that the Dark One did indeed "set up" Semirhage (pretty much per Isilel's scenario). I'm not saying he's telling us that that is what happened, but he was almost insistent that we did not close the door on that line of speculation. Take it for what you will.
It's very difficult (but not impossible) to channel the True Power without the Dark One's direct permission.
This led to lots of discussion about the whole Semirhage death scene. Basically, she felt betrayed by the Dark One, and Brandon says she's a very astute person. Brandon also said that Moridin and the Dark One are on the same page with most things, and that Moridin is the most trustworthy Forsaken for the Dark One.
No one may channel the True Power without the Dark One's permission, and Rand doesn't have that.
This answer was challenged by another person who was at the Q&A, though Freelancer said later his question was asked at the signing table. Link broken.
I was at that signing, I was literally right next to Brandon as he answered this question, and that is far from his exact wording.
The response was more accurately something like: So far as we know, no one may channel the True Power without the Dark One's permission. Semirhage certainly seemed to think she was betrayed.
There was never a comment about Rand not having permission.
After this came to light, Matt Hatch asked Brandon about it, and he said that he never said Rand didn't have permission. Later I asked him if one normally has to visit Shayol Ghul to get permission, and he said yes. Freelancer responded thus:
Brandon's later answer has to take precedence. He says that he didn't specify directly whether Rand did or did not have the Dark One's permission. That is what everyone must operate by, as his word is now canon. That does not change what I wrote down as my questions were being answered.
As to Writo's comments, I can only offer this. The comment by Brandon about Semirhage believing she had been betrayed was definitely in response to someone else's question. It did not come up with mine, but I do remember hearing it.
(for WSB): The next question is from a Theorylander. Did Ishamael’s healing of Lews Therin back in the prologue of The Eye of the World create the same doctor-patient bond as when Nynaeve healed Egwene?
No, not that I know. I think that I would know, but no.
I'd been wondering why Demandred didn't just use the True Power to dispatch the various swordsmen that challenged him, and I got to ask it last night at the Huntington Beach signing. I thought I'd post it here in case anyone else was wondering the same thing.
Brandon's response was that Demandred was the most wary and cautious of the Forsaken and he wasn't going to "mess with that medallion", not knowing fully what it was or what it could do, especially since he suspected that the swordsman was Lews Therin in disguise.
I’m going to RAFO Shaidar Haran for now.
Totally understandable. And predictable. But I asked anyway.
This was asked in reference to the theory that Sorilea is a Darkfriend.
Um...(pause) Yes. I see what you're fishing for there.
Well, I mean...obviously. I didn't think I would slip that one past you.
I was mainly following up on Freelancer's question. Despite the confusion, most fans believe that Rand accessed the True Power through his link with Moridin (and most also believe the Dark One is okay with this, despite not having granted explicit permission). Brandon's answer to Freelancer seemed to confirm that, but then Brandon denied he had actually said that.
[The guy said True Power travel]
Yes. [Can't give you specifics of response, but he did say that it (True Power) was the reason for the difference in Traveling.]
Next, I believe, was the aforementioned big mouth. In the interests of not getting banned, we will simply call him Cranially Undernourished Bozo. He was asking something about Ishamael and about him being the only one to use the True Power therefore he is Mordin. RJ started explaining that he didn't necessarily have to be Mordin to which CUB declared that he was avoiding the question. RJ then gives a complicated explanation about the Watcher watching the events unfurling (this is all from memory and unfortunately I can't remember everything) which ended in a question if that is what he meant. CUB with a confused look on his face was obviously in over his head, and started planning how he could become a bigger nuisance.
From dinner re: balefire philosophy:
Talked to Brandon at the Stormleader dinner last night. He had a few things to say on this topic:
1. The bruises on Min's neck were not an error. After consulting with Team Jordan, it was determined that indirect effects remain. Rand was the one who strangled Min, not Semirhage directly, so the bruises stayed.
2. Brandon knows of two ways to destroy cuendillar. But he would not confirm if the Domination Band that Rand was wearing was made from cuendillar. He said it was not relevant to what happened.
3. The bracelets did not disappear when Semirhage and Elza were balefired because they were not considered to be intrinsic to their person. It would be the same if someone was holding a book and was balefired, the book would drop to the floor.
Well... (This is not quite verbatim.) You have to be human of course, and all the other things as with the One Power. I don't believe so, but I am not sure. (Don't take this last sentence as gospel as I may not recall it correctly.)
I think we need to clarify what sort of conditions so he can say yes or no to them. Maybe MAFO?
Sanderson said Rand realized that he did not need the Choedan Kal for the Last Battle. He also said that Rand was not at a point where he needed the Choedan Kal for anything he wanted to do.
He said the sentence in a way that leads me to believe post epiphany Rand is much stronger than pre epiphany Rand though that is my interpretation of his sentence.
On the subject of the Choedan Kal, he said that the True Power was not as strong as someone with the Choedan Kal. Just it felt as tempting and as addictive as the One Power through the Choedan Kal.
Did the Dark One make the True Power available to Rand, or did he find it himself?
After staring at me for several seconds (long story) and taking a sip of water, he pulled out a RAFO card.
Was the flaw in Callandor deliberate?
Yes, Callandor was deliberately designed as a trap.
Could a woman channel the True Power through Callandor?
I don't believe so—MAFO (ask Maria and find out).
Getting back to Callandor, we know that you have to channel the appropriate power though a seed—saidin or saidar. So I was wondering how Callandor got True Power capability. Is it because of the flaw, or did someone channel the True Power through the seed at the time it was created?
That's an excellent question to which I do not have the answer. It's not one I had considered.
Somebody had said when I posted in the Facebook re-readers group that there is a theory that the capability might be due to the Taint, but I wasn't sure that was the case.
I believe it was made intentionally to do what it did for a specific use. Not what it ended up being used for. I don't think it was used for that. I think it was built—you're going to have to clear it with Maria—I think it was built to be a trap for one of the male Forsaken.
And the decision to exchange the bodies at the end?
That was his (Robert Jordan). And it began with the crossing of the balefire streams, way back when, and continued on through the series up to here. He actually wrote those scenes at the end himself.
From Freelancer, Can you speak to how and when a True Power sa'angreal was created?
I believe that such a thing, you'll have to check with Maria to make sure that I'm not saying anything wrong, but I believe that this thing was created as a trap for one of the Forsaken.
I think what he is more after, is once we have had the talk about the seed for a sa'angreal...
Uh, huh. How did that happen? That I am not talking too much about.
I don't know.
I asked Brandon about that one too.
I would have to really look at it and check the notes; it's not something that I know right off the top....
I recently saw something about that in the notes, but I'm not remembering exactly what it said.
Do you happen to know anything about Ishamael's plan with the Eye, because it seems like he was trying to lead them there; why did he keep mentioning the Eye? Did he have a dream about it or something? You don't know?
In the Wheel of Time books, did the Creator have a power, similar to the True Power that the Dark One had?
I'm afraid I don't have the answer for this, not for certain. I think that readers of the text could argue both ways. For example, a certain event in the epilogue of AMOL could be interpreted this way—though everyone in Team Jordan seems to have a different opinion on what is going on, and RJ didn't leave an explanation.